Breath-holding (BH) is often used to reduce organ motion during radiotherapy. The aim of this study was to determine the differences in pancreatic and diaphragmatic motion during BH between inhalation and exhalation BHs with variable lung volumes and to investigate whether motion increases/decreases during BH.
Sixteen healthy volunteers were asked to perform four different 60-second BHs, from fully inflated to fully deflated lungs (i.e. lung volumes of: 100%, ∼70%, ∼30% and 0% of inspiratory capacity) three times (total of 192 BHs). During each BH, we obtained single-slice (coronal) magnetic-resonance scans with spatial resolution 0.93×0.93×8.0 mm3 and temporal resolution 0.6 s. We used 2-dimensional image correlation to obtain the motion of pancreatic head and diaphragm during BH. Motion magnitude in inferior-superior direction was obtained by determining the maximum displacement during BH.
Pancreatic and diaphragmatic drifts occurred during BH and were mostly in the superior direction. We observed significantly smaller pancreatic and diaphragmatic motion magnitudes in inferior-superior direction during exhalation BHs (BH30% and BH0% ) compared to inhalation BHs (BH100% and BH70% ). The mean motion magnitudes of the pancreatic head were 7.0, 6.5, 4.4 and 4.2 mm during BH100% , BH70% , BH30% and BH0% , respectively, and mean BH durations were 59.9, 59.1, 59.0 and 52.7 s. For the diaphragm, mean motion magnitudes were 9.8, 9.0, 5.6 and 4.3 mm, respectively. When considering 30-second BHs, as often used in the clinic, the motion was most pronounced during the first 10 s and excluding these from the analysis (yielding an effective BH period of 20 s) significantly reduced (P≤0.002) organ motion.
Organ motion was significantly smaller during exhalation BHs compared to inhalation BHs. Also, motion was largest at the start of BH. Hence, waiting for 10 s may significantly decrease motion of the pancreas and diaphragm during treatment.
Download Full PDF Version (Non-Commercial Use)